DOMESTIC SEPARATION / DIVORCE MEDIATION
What is it?
Domestic Separation/Divorce Mediation is a peaceful alternative way for couples to work out concerns they have about their parenting, property division and child or spousal support. The process can be used before, during or after the legal process of separation or divorce has been started or completed and also by couples who were never legally married but who have children together. It involves the couple sitting down with a specially trained "neutral" facilitator, known as a mediator, who helps the parties negotiate with one another to work out their own voluntary settlement to the issues that are of concern to them.
Mediation encourages cooperation between the couple and is intended to reduce the anger and bitterness that can often accompany separation/divorce. It is NOT therapy or the practice of law; i.e., it will not help the couple understand why their marriage failed, nor will a mediator give the couple legal advice, draft their final divorce agreement or represent parties in court. Couples have the opportunity to come away from mediation with a final written summary of their negotiated agreements that can then be put into the required format for filing with the court by their attorneys. This filing process helps ensure that the voluntary agreements reached by the couple in mediation will become enforceable by the court.
Who is it for?
Mediation is meant for couples who have decided to end their relationship/marriage but would like to do so in as humane a way as possible; couples who know divorce can be a very painful process and want to move on with their lives and avoid additional pain; couples who would like to be a part of the decision-making process that accompanies the ending of their relationship/marriage rather than have others decide what is best for their family; couples who do not want their disagreements over visitation or support to unnecessarily harm their children.
How Long Does It Take?
Domestic Mediation Sessions usually run about 2 hours in length and are generally scheduled on a weekly basis until all the issues of concern have been addressed by a couple. Completion of the process can require anywhere from 1 to 8 sessions depending on the number of issues that need to be worked out and how easily parties are able to work through their differences.
How Much Does It Cost?
CMS services are available on a sliding fee scale that ranges from $10 to $120 per hour depending on a couple's income and how many children they are supporting.
How Well Does It Work?
Figures at this time indicate that mediated agreements have a higher compliance rate than those reached through the traditional adversarial legal process; i.e., people seem to be more likely to abide by decisions that they have participated in making voluntarily.
For more information call CMS at (614) 228-7191.
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